In The Media

Liberals betrayal on access to safe reproductive health continues

The Gutwein government’s dangerous ideology on reproductive health has seen access to safe terminations continue to be denied to Tasmanian women. Shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel said the Liberals had promised to deliver access to terminations three years ago but had utterly failed and continued to release only confusing information for Tasmanian women. “Two Health Ministers and three years ago, the Liberals promised to…

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Suicide Prevention

Media release – Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, 21 July 2021 WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO PREVENT SUICIDE Every death by suicide is a devastating loss – for families, for friends, work mates, and for communities. It is important to recognise the reasons people take their own life are complex, and not always connected to mental illness. The Tasmanian Government is working…

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Plan to reopen Arthur-Pieman four-wheel drive tracks wouldn’t protect Aboriginal heritage sites, report finds

A much-anticipated Aboriginal heritage report into controversial four-wheel drive tracks in Tasmania’s west has found there’s not enough evidence that proposed protection strategies would adequately conserve ancient middens and cultural sites. Key points: A scathing, long-awaited report into the cultural heritage review into three four-wheel drive tracks in Tasmania’s west has been released by the governmentThe report’s authors found the proposed mitigation measures were “unlikely…

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Daughter of man who died after fall at Roy Fagan Centre in 2013 furious at latest care issues

A Tasmanian woman whose father died shortly after breaking his hip at the state’s top mental health facility says she is incensed that it is still experiencing issues years after she first raised concerns. Key points: A coroner recommended the Roy Fagan Centre review its processes around fall risks after Richard Weily’s deathAn advocacy group said the discovery of a maggot-infested wound that triggered a…

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On Health…

Media release – Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Health, 14 July 2021 NORTH WEST COMMUNITY SET TO RECEIVE BETTER CARE WITH THE COMMUNITY RAPID RESPONSE SERVICE NOW PERMANENT The Tasmanian Liberal Government is strengthening community care, investing an additional $52 million for in-home and locally delivered community health services. This investment includes funding dedicated to our Community Rapid Response Service (ComRRS) in the North West, and…

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New Labor Shadow Cabinet

Media release – Tasmanian Labor, 13 July 2021 NEW LABOR SHADOW CABINET WILL HOLD LIBERAL GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT Labor Leader Rebecca White today released details of the new Labor Shadow Cabinet, reflecting the issues that matter most to Tasmanians and priority areas to hold the Gutwein Government to account. Ms White said the allocation of the new Shadow Ministries also makes strong use of the…

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New Labor Shadow Cabinet

Media release – David O’Byrne, Labor Leader, 17 June 2021 NEW LABOR SHADOW CABINET REFLECTS DIVERSITY AND COMMITMENT TO KEY ISSUES FOR TASMANIANS Labor Leader David O’Byrne has revealed the Parliamentary Labor Party’s new Shadow Ministry reflecting the diverse talents of MPs and a commitment to the issues which are key to all Tasmanians going forward. Mr O’Byrne said the Shadow Cabinet reflected Labor’s commitment…

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New Tassie envoy announced for Japan trade push

A new trade envoy will help sell Tasmania’s exports to the Japanese market, Trade Minister Guy Barnett has announced. Tokyo-based Joe Gayton has spent more than 20 years living and working in Japan and his appointment was a sign of the importance Tasmania placed on its relationship with Japan, Mr Barnett said. “Japan is a priority market in the Tasmanian Trade Strategy. In 2020, Tasmania’s…

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Labor promises $4m to support 10 after-hours pharmacies

  Labor is promising to support 10 after-hours pharmacies across the state with $4 million, something the Tasmania Pharmacy Guild is welcoming. The party, if elected, is promising to provide $1 million a year to support 10 after-hours pharmacies. Labor health spokesperson Bastian Seidel said by expanding access to after-hours pharmacies, it helped reduce the number of presentations to emergency departments for minor ailments. “Tasmania’s…

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Bastian Seidel: Liberal’s Launceston General Hospital promise a sham

Less than two weeks after the Tasmanian state election Peter Gutwein’s $580 million signature health policy for the Launceston General Hospital development has been exposed as little more than wishful thinking. Never shy of making big announcements – and failing abysmally to actually deliver – Mr Gutwein and his then Health Minister Sarah Courtney came out swinging early in the election campaign with bold promises on…

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Current Affairs

Election Night Interviews Tasmanian Times conducted some election night interviews at the ‘Tally Room’, Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart, 1 May 2021. We spoke to independent candidate for Clark Mike Dutta (start), journalist Bob Burton of Tasmanian Inquirer (01:58), Labor MLC and Shadow Health Minister Bastian Seidel (06:43), and Clarence City Council Alderman (and former Liberal and independent candidate) Tony Mulder (09:16) . We also approached a Liberal…

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Tasmanian election 2021: What are the major parties promising on health this election?

Health, unsurprisingly, has been one of the big ticket items this election campaign. Fresh off calling the state election, the Liberals were quick to outline a plan – promising to provide the “biggest ever” boost to healthcare. What followed was a string of commitments, mostly building on existing strategies and plans, with additional funding aimed at addressing elective surgery wait lists and outdated infrastructure. Labor,…

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Liberal Party No-show at Health Debate

Dr Bastian Seidel MLC, Shadow Health Minister, 22 April 2021 LIBERAL PARTY NO-SHOW AT HEALTH DEBATE The Liberal Party has failed to show up to the only specific policy debate during this election campaign. Health Minister Sarah Courtney refused multiple invitations to attend today’s debate at the Invermay Bowls Club and in doing so refused to hear the harrowing stories of the real victims of the…

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Liberal Party No-show at Health Debate

Dr Bastian Seidel MLC, Shadow Health Minister, 22 April 2021 LIBERAL PARTY NO-SHOW AT HEALTH DEBATE The Liberal Party has failed to show up to the only specific policy debate during this election campaign. Health Minister Sarah Courtney refused multiple invitations to attend today’s debate at the Invermay Bowls Club and in doing so refused to hear the harrowing stories of the real victims of the…

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Sick man ‘waited hours’ in Tas hospital

Tasmania’s premier says he was disappointed to hear reports an elderly man with pneumonia waited nine hours on a plastic chair in a hospital emergency waiting room. The Examiner newspaper also revealed it took 30 hours for the 87-year-old to be provided with a bed at the Launceston General Hospital after he presented there last Tuesday. “It was disappointing to read that, and obviously nobody…

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Labor health spokesperson Bastian Seidel on how Labor will slow presentations to hospitals and acute services in Tasmania

Health is a major election issue, and almost unanimously those working in the sector say more needs to be spent on prevention to slow the ever increasing demand on acute services. What is Labor’s preventative health and mental health policy? Labor spokesperson for health and mental health spoke to Piia Wirsu.

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Labor books venue for health debate, but Courtney dismisses idea

 Labor has booked the Invermay Bowls Club for the purpose of holding a debate between its health spokesman Bastian Seidel and the state’s Health Minister Sarah Courtney, a move the Liberals have dismissed as redundant. Dr Seidel, the member for the upper house seat of Huon and former president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, challenged Liberal leader Peter Gutwein and Ms Courtney…

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Labor’s plan for an independent statutory authority to future-proof health planning, take politics out

Dr Bastian Seidel said he fell for the promises made by then health minister Michael Ferguson to provide more community and GP support to justify centralising North-West birthing services to Burnie. But Labor’s new health spokesperson said that then nothing happened. He said anger about empty promises and short-term fixes that left Tasmania with the nation’s worst health outcomes is why he entered politics. “My…

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‘I’m not going to put a dollar value on the cost of a life’: Tasmanian Labor’s Dr Bastian Seidel answers questions on ALP health policy

Why the Shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel won’t put a dollar value on the cost of policy, he says, will improve the state’s health system.

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‘Minority government does not work’: Rebecca White, Peter Gutwein fire up in debate

Follow the action as Premier Peter Gutwein and Labor Leader Rebecca take part in the first Leaders’ Debate of the State Election campaign at the Property Council of Tasmania’s luncheon at Wrest Point Casino. FULL DEBATE WRAP: THE leaders of both of Tasmania’s major political parties say they will reject the verdict of voters if they don’t win a majority of seats at the May 1…

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Labor promises to recruit medicos and return maternity services to the Mersey

Labor hopes an election pledge to return routine birthing services to the Mersey Community Hospital and recruit more permanent medicos to the site could be a health game-changer in Braddon. Labor’s Dr Bastian Seidel said he was confident a level two maternity service delivering routine births and the provision for caesarian sections where necessary could be reintroduced by Labor to the MCH within two years.…

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Labor promises 144 new paramedics, 10 extended hour GP centres and two new paramedic stations

The Labor Party is promising to employ an additional 144 paramedics and establish 10 general practice extended care centres as part of its $167 million ambulance strategy. It promises 24/7 paramedic coverage at all Tasmanian ambulance stations, 144 new full-time paramedics, new double branch stations in Channel and Oakdowns and the establishment of 10 GP extended care centres around the state. Labor leader Rebecca White…

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Labor’s $197m pledge for Tas rural health

All rural Tasmanian hospitals will provide 24/seven emergency care under a state Labor government, the party promises. State Opposition Leader Rebecca White on Saturday launched the party’s health plan, pledging to reverse “seven years of neglect” by the Liberal government, if voters hand Labor majority government at the May 1 election. The incumbent Liberal government was quick to fire back, saying that Tasmanians remember the…

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How hip patients and obesity surgeries are costing big buck as doctors overcharge

PATIENTS who need hip or knee replacements are the most likely to be slugged with out of pocket fees by their surgeons, while obesity surgery patients face some of the highest gap fees. News Corp has blown the lid on overcharging doctors via a new tool that allows patients to check if their doctor is billing in excess of the AMA recommended fee and today we provide…

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Primary care essential to Advance Australia Fair

Politics is bad medicine when it comes to taxpayer health and Medicare ought to be ringfenced from partisan brinksmanship by an Independent Medicare Authority, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President Dr Bastian Seidel told the National Press Club on Monday. In an impassioned defence of primary care, Dr Seidel said the Medicare Authority would entrench the current MBS review in perpetuity and allow for…

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Ambulance Issues

Media release – Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health, 4 March 2021 SECONDARY TRIAGE ALREADY WORKING Last week, 127 Triple-0 calls were referred into secondary triage by Ambulance Tasmania, with 31 of those referred on to other response pathways. Secondary triage is a brand new service in Tasmania that builds on the existing clinical assessment by Ambulance Tasmania’s highly trained staff. Paramedics and nurses are providing…

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RACGP ramps up its Canberra presence

The RACGP is establishing a permanent office in Canberra in a sign of its increasingly prominent role as a policy advocate for general practice.  The new office will be housed in one of the best-connected pieces of real estate in the capital – the National Press Club building on National Circuit, Barton, just around the corner from Parliament House.   “We are a national organisation and…

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New shadow minister for health Dr Bastian Seidel on the problems with Tasmania’s health system and the future of the Mersey

Only six months after entering politics, Huonville’s Dr Bastian Seidel has been handed the responsibility of making the health portfolio the poisoned chalice it is often claimed to be for Minister Sarah Courtney. Dr Seidel was appointed Labor’s shadow health minister in a reshuffle announced on Monday. The new position means Dr Seidel will be going head-to-head with Ms Courtney, and will also be charged…

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New shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel says Tasmania has enough hospitals but not enough funding

Former GP Dr Bastian Seidel is Labor’s new Shadow Health Minister. He’s worked in the health sector for 25 years, so how would he address the challenges facing Tasmania’s health system?

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Bastian Seidel and Sarah Lovell given new roles in Rebecca White’s Labor team

Labor’s shadow ministry has taken on a new look for the new year, as the party prepares to tackle a looming election in 2022. Newly elected MLC Dr Bastian Seidel will be taking on the health portfolio, bringing with him years worth of medical experience, while former health spokesperson, Sarah Lovell, has been given the child safety and workplace relations portfolios. Dr Seidel said he…

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‘Nightmare scenario’: Labor concerned about ambulance chief’s exit

Labor is lamenting the looming departure of the Ambulance Tasmania boss, saying his exit could not have come at a worse time. The organisation’s acting chief executive Matthew Eastham announced to staff on Wednesday his intention to resign, after accepting another job interstate. It comes two weeks after a massive data breach sent shockwaves through Ambulance Tasmania. Huon Labor MLC Bastian Seidel, a former president of…

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Talking Point: We cannot fail them for the fourth time

LEGISLATION to permit voluntary assisted dying is very much in the public focus, not only here in Tasmania but across the ditch in New Zealand. Along with their much-anticipated general election, New Zealanders are invited to vote in a public referendum on the End of Life Choice Bill that received Royal assent in 2019 and will become law subject to the referendum next Saturday. It…

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Dr Bastian Seidel says $240,000 report is sitting with the government

A $240,000 report from 2018 looking at establishing urgent health care centres in Tasmania should be released, Labor MLC Bastian Seidel says. Dr Seidel, a GP and member for Huon, said primary care was “absolutely essential” to take the pressure off emergency departments at Tasmanian hospitals. In Question Time in the Legislative Council, he said the government awarded $240,000 in taxpayers’ funding to an external…

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Labor’s Bastain Seidel delivers heartfelt contribution to voluntary assisted dying debate in Tasmanian Parliament

General practitioner turned politician, Bastian Seidel, has delivered an emotional and vivid account of the death of a young mother to illustrate his support for voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania. Debate on legislation to facilitate the end-of-life option continued in the Legislative Council on Tuesday. Elected as a Labor member for Huon last month, Dr Seidel his view on voluntary assisted dying had changed over…

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Legislative Council Members Inaugural Speech

Dr SEIDEL (Huon) – Mr President, thank you very much indeed. May I commend the member for Murchison on her outstanding advocacy in this matter? It is an issue close to my heart and of significance to and for my community. We all must do better. I take this opportunity to deliver my inaugural speech in the Legislative Council of Tasmania today, on 25 August 2020.…

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New MLCs Jo Palmer and Bastian Seidel take seat in Legislative Council for the first time

TASMANIA’S two newly-elected members of the Legislative Council have taken their seat in the chamber for the first time. Member for Huon Bastian Seidel (Labor) and Rosevears MLC Jo Palmer (Liberal) were sworn in and were given a warm welcome by fellow MLCs. The return of Legislative Council sittings followed the elections for those divisions on August 1, which had been scheduled for May but…

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Tasmanian Parliament to restart, with busy agenda ahead and new faces set for debut

Tasmania’s Parliament hit the pause button to manage the coronavirus pandemic, but this week it’s back to business. Parliamentarians sat through one “normal” week of sittings at the start of March, before the COVID-19 took centre stage and this year’s legislative agenda took a backseat. Sitting days were cut back, little was tabled, and opposition MPs relinquished their Private Members’ time, when they usually move…

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Bastian Seidel, Jo Palmer elected to Tasmania’s Legislative Council

Former television newsreader Jo Palmer has been elected to Tasmanian Parliament with a wafer-thin margin. Ms Palmer went into Tuesday’s count for the upper house election in Rosevears with a lead of 2577 primary votes ahead of independent candidate Janie Finlay. In the end, just 260 votes separated them. This means Ms Palmer will take a seat on plush red couches in the Legislative Council…

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Major parties set to dominate Tasmanian Legislative Council as elections usher in Labor, Liberal members

Labor and Liberal MPs look set to dominate Tasmania’s Legislative Council for the first time after weekend elections for the Upper House seats of Huon and Rosevears. Key points: Voters in Huon and Rosevears went to the polls on Saturday.Counting so far indicates Labor will take the seat of Huon while the Liberals will win Rosevears — replacing two independents with two party-aligned MPs.Long-serving independent MLCs…

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Labor has claimed victory in Huon for local GP Bastian Seidel as political parties hold majority of seats for the first time

FOR the first time in Tasmanian history, political parties are set to hold the majority of seats in the state’s traditionally independent Upper House. The 15-member Legislative Council will comprise eight party MLCs and seven independents following elections held in Huon and Rosevears on Saturday. An update from the Tasmanian Electoral Commission on Sunday showed Labor’s Bastian Seidel had 31.5 per cent of votes –…

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Independents out, Liberal and Labor in, as Huon and Rosevears voters have their say

Tasmania’s Upper House appears set to be dominated by the major parties for the first time in its history, with new faces looking likely to enter the state’s Parliament from the divisions of both Huon and Rosevears. After a campaign prolonged by the coronavirus pandemic, voters have finally had their say on representation in the Legislative Council seats of Huon, south of Hobart, and Rosevears…

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Upper House seats of Huon and Rosevears to be decided as voters finally head to polls

This Saturday, Tasmanian electors in both ends of the state will head to the polls in a Legislative Council election unlike any other. Polls for the seats of Huon, south of Hobart, and Rosevears, along the west Tamar, had been scheduled to take place in May this year before coronavirus derailed the election. Three months later, voters will finally be afforded the chance to select…

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Legislative Council candidates for Huon and Rosevears share views on proposed major projects legislation

PROPOSED major projects legislation is sensible and will result in greater assessment than what is currently done by councils, says Huon Legislative Council candidate Dean Harriss. Opinion on the issue was divided among candidates for this weekend’s elections for Huon and Rosevears, with half of the 12 candidates indicating support, two opposing it and the remaining four undecided. The legislation will allow independent expert assessment…

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Tasmanian schools to adopt social distancing measures, as Scotch Oakburn College moves to online learning

Tasmanian schools have been asked to cancel assemblies, excursions and travel plans as part of precautionary measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. Key points: Students will be allowed a single visit to retrieve learning materials from the schoolThe Tasmanian Government says other schools would stay openThe Southern Primary Interschool Athletics carnivals has been cancelled Following advice from health officials, the Tasmanian…

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Labor candidate and GP says it’s time to treat schools as mass gatherings

TASMANIA’S schools and universities need to be closed now to stop the coronavirus spreading Labor candidate and GP Bastian Seidel says. “From a medical point of view it is the right thing to do.” Dr Seidel said, as the government announced it was still waiting for advice on the issue. “The only way to stop the virus spreading is to avoid mass gatherings. Isolation is…

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Talking Point: Call off the games — it’s not worth playing with our lives

THE coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has hit home. This is no longer a problem for the Chinese or the Europeans. It is a worldwide pandemic and the concerning developments from overseas will be mirrored here in Tasmania if we are not taking action now. This is about prevention of harm to the community in the absence of any effective treatment or cure of the disease. This…

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Huonville GP joins Legislative Council race

GENERAL practitioner Bastian Seidel will stand for Labor in the upcoming Legislative Council election for the division of Huon. In a widely-anticipated announcement, the high profile former Royal Australian College of General Practitioners President announced his candidacy alongside Labor leader Rebecca White in Huonville on Tuesday. He said improving local services was top of his campaign promises. “The biggest challenges are really that we don’t…

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Tasmanian doctor Bastian Seidel Labor’s candidate in Huon contest

Tasmanian doctor Bastian Seidel has confirmed he will be contesting the seat of Huon for the Labor party in the upcoming Legislative Council election. Dr Seidel said he was delighted to be Labor’s candidate for Huon. “I’ve been living here for well over a decade and been the local GP for 10 years. I know the needs of our community,” Dr Seidel said. “What I…

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Tasmanian GPs are well informed and equipped to deal with emerging coronavirus

TASMANIA is well prepared for the emerging coronavirus pandemic says Huonville general practitioner, Dr Bastian Seidel. Two Tasmanians have so far been tested for the virus – one in Hobart and one in Launceston. Both have been cleared of infection. Dr Seidel, spokesman and former president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said there was no need for the community to panic. “Realistically we’ve…

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GP Bastian Seidel set for tilt at Tasmanian politics

Prominent Tasmanian doctor Bastian Seidel is set to make a bid for politics. The former federal president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is expected to stand for the Labor Party in the Legislative Council seat of Huon. Dr Seidel, a former clinical professor at the University of Tasmania, rose to national prominence representing more than 40,000 members across Australia. He will challenge…

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